Text messages about pandemic payment a ‘scam’, department says

Department of Social Protection advises public not to click or reply to the text

When a person clicks on the link in the scam text message, they are asked to provide their bank account details. Photograph: iStock

Text messages relating to the pandemic unemployment payment and requesting bank account details is a “scam” and should be ignored, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has warned.

In a statement, the department said it has “become aware” that some members of the public have received text messages on their mobile phones from an unknown number telling them that they are entitled to the Covid-19 payment and to click on the link - socialwelfareireland - provided in the message.

When the person clicks on the link, they are then asked to provide their bank account details.

The department has advised customers and the public that “this text message is a scam and the link has nothing to do with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection”.


“Please do not click on the link or reply to the text,” the statement added.

DEASP said it wishes to make it “absolutely clear” that it never requests bank account or other financial institution account details from customers by phone or on social media, adding that it also does not clarify or check this information over the phone.

Bank account information is only accepted as part of a written application to the department, DEASP said.

Anyone who thinks they provided personal information in response to these fraudulent text messages should contact their bank immediately, it added.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times